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The Back way to Europe: A case study about why young men in Gambia are prepared to risk their lives to get to Europe
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Irregular migration is one of our times challenge and the news about migrants dying in the Mediterranean Sea seems to be more and more common these days. African migrants are risking their lives migrating by routes through the desert on trucks packed with migrants to get to Libya; this route is called the back way. From Libya they are crossing the Mediterranean Sea in small over loaded boats with the hope to reach Italy.

This study focus on young Gambian men who say that they are prepared to risk their life by going the back way in order to reach Europe. Gambia is a small country in West Africa, a country that has been free from violence and war, a peaceful country. Yet the back way is something that is on everybody’s lips in Gambia today and a lot of people, especially young men, are trying to get to Europe through that way. This research is looking into why these young men are prepared to risk their lives to reach Europe; it is showing what it is that make people take their decisions to go. In order to find answers to this, interviews with young men in Gambia has been done and the material have then been analyzed with the help of the push and pull model, the rational choice theory and Charles Tilly’s ideas about durable inequality.

What can be understood from the findings in this research is that people migrate in order to improve their lives. They consider the back way only because that is what is available to them since the legal ways of getting to Europe are few and hard to get for somebody from the developing world. The research also shows that your position in the family and in the society plays a crucial part in the decision of going or not going.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 42 p.
Keyword [en]
Gambia, Young men, Back way, Migration, Irregular migration
National Category
Other Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-35637OAI: diva2:729589
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Available from: 2014-06-26 Created: 2014-06-25 Last updated: 2014-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Strand Jagne, Frida
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